About Chemical Peels
A chemical peel is a technique that uses topical chemicals to peel away the top layer of old skin to reveal a new, fresh layer of skin. The result is rejuvenated, more youthful skin, similar to the results of a microdermabrasion treatment. While chemical peels are typically used on the face, they can also be administered to other parts of the body, including the neck, chest, and décolletage. Depending on the use of the chemical peel, varying levels of strength can be administered. Chemical peels are commonly used as a safe treatment for skin afflictions such as wrinkles, discoloration, acne, texture or pigmentation irregularities, or other related conditions. It is regarded as a successful way to achieve softer, smoother skin for better skin health and tone. Talk to one of the skin care professionals at Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology in San Francisco to learn more about the benefits of chemical peels.
Types of Chemical Peels
There are several types of chemical peels offered by our office. The strength used will be determined based on the skin condition of the patient, as well as the aesthetic goals and desired downtime. Our office offers the following peels:
- Superficial/Light Peel: This is the mildest chemical peel. It is performed in a matter of minutes with only about three to five days downtime of peeling. During this peel, only the most superficial layer of skin is removed, which causes the skin to immediately look smoother, more even toned, and brighter. These peels are usually comprised of alpha hydroxyl or beta hydroxyl acid, along with salicylic acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid. Usually, multiple treatments are recommended to get the best possible results.
- Medium Depth Peel: This peel goes deeper than a light peel and therefore, provides more dramatic results. This particular peel is usually derived from Trichloroacetic acid (known as TCA), a type of acid that penetrates deeper into the skin. A medium depth peel is used to treat hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and sun damage. Since the peel goes deeper, a patient can expect a longer recovery period and should plan ahead since the face can be swollen, itchy and red for about ten days following the treatment.
Chemical Peel Reviews
"MELASMA NO MORE! I love love love BACD and Dr. Andrea Hui. I moved to the area last July from the East Coast and was looking for a new doc to help me manage my melasma. I have been dealing with melasma for over five years and nothing seemed to work. It was getting worse and I received contradictory guidance. Dr. Hui is very accessible, really listens, and more importantly personalizes the treatment approach to the patient and skin type. She managed my expectations and gave me reasonable timelines for expecting changes. She also offered me new interventions as they became available. After seven months of faithfully following the skin care regimen she suggested, coupled with peels and medication, I am virtually spot free. I have ventured outside my house with nothing but sunscreen, after years of full coverage makeup to hide the spots. I am ecstatic about the quality of care Dr Hui and the staff at BACD have provided. I never felt like they were unnecessarily pushing products and procedures on me. Without reservations I recommend this practice."- M.G. / Yelp / May 18, 2017
"I suffered from melasma for about 5 years after 2 fraxel treatments. I went to two doctors for melasma consultation , but they only pushed for those expensive laser. I was hesitant to do any laser as it was the cause of my melasma and the result can be unpredictable. Basically, I just lost all hope and accepted my fate until I met Dr. Hui! Dr. Hui gave my life back to me!!! I am reborn !!! Before meeting Dr. Hui, I was depressed , and I lost a lot of valuable family times. I didn't want to go on any vacation because all I worried was my face. I was scared to go out during summer time because of the sun exposure. I decided to see Dr. Hui after all the 5 stars reviews on the internet. I travel 120 miles to see Dr. Hui, but I must say I'm a lucky girl because I am finally in good hands! Dr. Hui is honest, compassionate, competent, skilled and knowledgeable. She is up to date on the latest treatment, and she puts patient's safety as her top priority, which is hard to find in the beauty industry these days!! She assessed my previous treatments and came up with a comprehensive treatment that treats me internally & externally! She explained the treatment plan to me and told me other options in case if those fail. She gave me a oral medication which costs less than $10 with my insurance! She introduced a better sunscreen to me to prevent formation of new brown spots. Her office has special formulated Retin-A that will further help with lightening the spot. I am happy to stop using hydroquinone since it was causing redness to my skin & it can't be used on a long term basis. Dr. Hui put me on a safe lightening serum that doesn't cause any irritation to my skin. Within 3 weeks of her regimen, I was comfortable to go out in the public without any makeup !!!! I used to spend 20 minutes putting on makeup & concealer and still looked horrible. Now, my routine is less than 5 mins!!! I am now in the third month of treatment , and my skin improved so much without any procedure! I plan to have a few chemical peels to get rid of those residual pigment. I feel liberated !!!! I am finally being back to myself!! I begin my day with a big smile to myself in the mirror , and it would not have happened if it wasn't for Dr. Hui! Dr. Hui gave me a second chance in life! Not only does she reverse the damage from the laser, I am now on my way to a better version of me. My skin is smoother and healthier than before my melasma. My self-esteem is back up, and I'm no longer depressed. Words can't express my gratitude towards Dr. Hui. For those of you who are suffering from any kind of skin problem, I highly recommend you to see Dr. Hui. Even if you have no major skin concern, Dr. Hui can take your skin to the next level. My sister, who has good skin, started to see Dr.Hui after seeing my dramatic results. She said her pores are smaller, and she has a nice glow now!!! Thank you Dr. Hui for giving my life and my family life back to me!!!"- J.M. / Yelp / Jun 27, 2017
"Dr. Welsh = God in my world. Seriously.If you want to try botox or restylane or something like that, she is your go to person. Chemical peel? No problem. She's expensive, but worth it. You can't put a price on beauty."- A.B. / Yelp / Mar 05, 2007
"I have been in to see Dr. Welsh three times and been thrilled each time with the result and/or prescription. I have been to other dermatologists and these ladies "get it" better than most. The first time I went in to inquire about how to improve the look of my aging skin and they started me on retnoids-which have been a game-changer. Women in their 30s and 40s shouldn't have to battle acne and wrinkles at the same time! I have been using them for three years now and could not be happier with the result. I went back in to have a light peel done to try and remove some melasma on my forehead and chin from years of sun abuse (I now wear sunscreen religiously, but had a misspent youth in tanning beds...). I also received some other in office treatments that did not disappoint. Dr. Welsh saw me for two of those appointments and her very capable staff saw to my needs the third time. I plan to make an appointment to return to see Dr. Welsh and her friendly and competent staff as I prepare for my upcoming wedding this summer to make sure I look my best. Reasonable pricing for this area and realistic results are what I expect and what these ladies have delivered each time I have been in. Highly recommend!!!"- S.R. / Yelp / Feb 08, 2014
"I have battled back acne for over 30 years and over that time have seen different dermatologists, have been prescribed oral antibiotics such as erythromycin and doxycycline, have had 3 rounds of Accutane in the late '90's, early 2000's, and tried different prescription creams. Despite all of these efforts, acne and scarring have continued to persist. So after receiving a product sample at a school fundraiser, and looking at their site, I figured I would try yet another approach. After an initial consultation with Dr. Hui 2 months ago and buying many expensive but effective skin products, I started to see a significant improvement in the acne...finally! In a subsequent visit 6 weeks ago, I had a chemical peel with remarkable improvement in the scarring and discoloration. I just had a second chemical peel two days ago and am optimistic that this upcoming summer may be one in which bathing suits and cute sundresses with a scoop neck are a wardrobe possibility. This is life changing for me and I am eternally grateful. Thank you Dr. Hui!"- D.S. / Yelp / Jan 08, 2017
What to Expect
Regardless of the peel used, the overall procedure is similar. The skin will be cleansed thoroughly and a licensed esthetician will apply the chemical solution to your face. This process takes just a few minutes and a handheld fan is used to help decrease discomfort. During a light peel, the skin will tingle during treatment while a medium peel will produce a bit more discomfort. The differences between the peels are the type of solution used, the number of steps taken during the actual procedure, as well as the amount of solution that is applied.
A soothing ointment will be applied to the skin after the treatment. In the days that follow, the skin will begin to naturally flake and peel away. Patients should avoid picking at the skin or trying to speed up the peeling process in any way because this can result in scarring. Patients should also avoid sun exposure and keep their skin protected at all times.
Plan Your Procedure
Reveal Better Skin
In order to achieve a more flawless, brighter and overall better-looking appearance, there are a number of options available to a patient. Choosing the right treatment is dependent upon your skin as well as your personal goals. Chemical peels are ideal for sun-damaged skin, pigmentation, scarring, and other skin irregularities. We invite you to call our office today to schedule a consultation and find out if you are a candidate for a chemical peel treatment.